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What is a Specialization?

A specialization is a collection of three courses, 300 level or above, that majors choose based on their particular interests. These courses, chosen in consultation with a PitE advisor, allow students to go from an interdisciplinary perspective to a more focused examination of a topic with an environmental focus.

Here are several examples of approved specializations. These are merely illustrations and are not a comprehensive of possibilities. The range of Specialization options is as diverse as our students' interests.

Possible Specializations include:


  • Environ 311 (Rivers,Lakes and Wetlands)
  • Environ 409 (Ecology of Fishes)
  • Environ 422 (Biology of Fishes)
  • Environ 463 (Stream Restoration)
  • EEB 483 (Freshwater Ecosystems: Lymnology)

Conservation Biology

  • Environ 317 (Conservation of Biological Diversity)
  • Environ 415 (Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology)
  • Environ 421 (Restoration Ecology)
  • EEB 476 (Ecosystem Ecology)

Environmental Writing and Communication

  • Environ 320 (Environmental Journalism)
  • Environ 377 (Literature and Environment)
  • English 328 (Writing and the Environment)
  • Environ 413 (Environmental Communication)

Environmental Policy

  • Environ 312 (Environmental Politics and Policy)
  • Environ 365 (International Environmental Policy)
  • Environ 475 (Environmental Law)

Terrestrial Ecology

  • Environ 337 (Woody Plants)
  • Environ 430 (Soil Property and Processes)
  • EEB 348 (Forest Ecosystems)

Urban Planning

Choose 3 courses from:

  • Environ 350 (The Built Environment)
  • Environ 360 (Behavior and Environment)
  • Environ 370 (Intro to Urban Planning)
  • History 364 (History of Suburbia)

How / When Do I Select My Specialization?

Students must submit the specialization worksheet for approval no later than the end of junior year. Submitted specializations are reviewed by the PitE Specialization Committee for approval.  Please fill in the specialization form here.

It's never too early to plan your specialization. If you're having trouble figuring out how to formulate your specialization, please make an appointment with a PitE advisor to learn more about this requirement.